First Printed Appearance of Kino’s Influential Map

California No Longer An Island

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195. [JESUITS: Letters from Missions]. Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, Ecrites des Missions Etrangeres par quelques Missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jesús. V. Recueil. Paris: Chez Nicolas Le Clerc, rue S. Jacques, proche S. Yves, à l’image S. Lambert, 1705. Avec Approbation & Privilege du Roy. [32], 1-287 [5] pp., folding copper-engraved map (Passage par Terre a la Californie...., see below). 12mo (16.5 x 10.2 cm), contemporary full French smooth calf, spine extra gilt with raised bands (label missing, neatly rebacked preserving original spine, new endpapers at rear). One printed library label and one printed shelf mark label on front pastedown (both Bib: Maj: Sem:), ink stamp on front flyleaf (St. Stanislaus Novitiate House Library Guelph. Ont.), ownership inscription in ink on title page of Ch. Konrad(?). Pencil cost code of Eberstadts on front pastedown. Interior fine except for occasional light browning. Map with minor browning and splits at folds with no loss. Overall a desirable copy of an important map and book.


Passage par Terre a la Californie Decouvert par le Rev. Pere = Eusebe-François Kino, Jesuite depuis 1698 jusqu’a 1701 ou l’ou voit encore les Nouvelles Missions des PP. de la Compage. de Jesús. Engraved folding map, Neat line to neat line: 23.5 x 20.7 cm; overall sheet size: 24.5 x 21.4 cm. Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, Plate 33 & long discussion. Shows the Gulf of California and surrounding regions, including a small section of the Pacific.

     First edition, first printing of Father Kino’s map. This is Vol. V of 34 volumes of Jesuit letters published in Paris between 1702 and 1776, this volume including the map and Picolo’s text on the California missions. Barrett 1470. Burrus, Kino and the Cartography of Northwestern New Spain, Plate X (with long discussion). Cowan (1914), p. 139: “[The map] includes part of California, the Gulf, and New Mexico, with location of Indian tribes... A letter which appears in the preface...relates chiefly to California.” California 49: Forty-Nine Maps of California from the Sixteenth Century to the Present, Map 11, p. 22. Cumming, The Exploration of North America 236. Lowery 250. McLaughlin, California as an Island, entries 258 & 241 (referring to others’ uses of Kino’s work). Palau 136972. Sabin 40697. Schwartz & Ehrenberg, The Mapping of America 75: “The first engraving of Kino’s lost 1701 manuscript map was published in Paris in 1705... First map disproving the California as an island concept.”  Streeter Sale 2424: “Contains the first translation of Piccolo’s Informe del Estado de la Nueva Christiandad de California, the first printed description of California to receive wide circulation... The map is the famous Kino map of California...which appeared for the first time in this book. The map is remarkably accurate, and remained the best map of much of the area until the twentieth century.” Wagner, Cartography of the Northwest Coast 483. Wagner, Spanish Southwest 74a. Wheat, Mapping the Transmississippi West I, pp. 75-76: “Kino’s map exerted a great influence on contemporary cartography, especially after the French mapmaker, Guillaume Delisle, adopted the redoubtable missionary’s thesis”; #389. See also Hayes, Historical Atlas of California, Map 69, p. 33.

     After its initial publication, other mapmakers continued to show the peninsula as an island, but several later confirmations of Kino’s observations eventually laid the matter to rest. Philip Hoehn in Leighly (California as an Island) comments on the convoluted twists and turns the cartographical representations of the area assumed: “Around the year 1500 California made its appearance as a fictional island, blessed with an abundance of gold and populated by black, Amazon-like women, whose trained griffins dined on surplus males. Not unexpectedly, this first California is cartographically unrepresented. Later European exploration established California as a real place, but not an island: maps show it firmly attached to a seriously misshapen North America. Subsequent information passed on to cartographers changed this picture and turned California back into an island, and it appeared thus on maps in 1622. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Father Eusebio Kino definitively confirmed that California was not an island, but it took nearly 100 years to completely eliminate the misconception from the mapmaker’s art” (p. viii).

     The information on Kino’s map proved to be remarkably accurate and has withstood the test of time. Its publication here is a landmark in North American and California cartography.


Sold. Hammer: $1,500.00; Price Realized: $1,837.50.

Auction 23 Abstracts

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